SD Card Read Only? This is How you get SD Card Out of Read Only Mode

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SD card getting stuck in read only mode is a common issue and can get very serious if not acted quickly to fix it. Fortunately, this article has covered everything you need to know on how t fix SD card that is stuck in read only mode and also help you recover data from SD card using a powerful data recovery software Remo Recover.

You copied a few files onto your SD card, all of a sudden you see a notification “The Disk is Write Protected”.  Other cases like trying to open documents stored on the SD card and you get the same notification.

On other devices such as cameras or phones, if the SD card is locked, you will see a notification saying storage set to private.

This happens when the SD card is set to read-only, so here is how you change the SD card from read-only.

How to Fix if the Disk is Write Protected?

Generally, in this scenario, the majority of the discussion forums recommend users just format the SD card. However, when the SD card is set to read-only, you won't able to format the micro/SD card.

In such situations, the only way to fix it is by disabling the write protection on the SD card. As a matter of fact, this read-only error will also occur on all sorts of storage drives, such as USB drives, internal, external hard drives, and even on write-protected folders.

The following methods expand on how to change the SD card from the Read-only mode. The same information can also be used to fix these errors across storage drives.

Methods to Fix SD Card Read-only Mode

Below are the methods to fix Memory Card Read-Only Mode.

Method 1: Unlock the SD card to Change from reading Only

On all the full-sized SD cards there is a physical switch or a notch available that can be used to lock the SD card. Flipping that notch towards the lock in the designated direction (which will be indicated on the SD card) is going to make the SD card read-only.

To change the read-only attribute, you just have to move the notch in the opposite direction. This is going to fix the read-only problem on the SD card.

Nevertheless, not all storage drives have a physical lock. For example, micro SD cards or USB drives. In such devices, read-only attributes are set internally. Following is the way to change the read-only attribute using your computer.

Method 2: Adjust the registry key to Fix SD Card Read Only Mode

Adjust the Registry key to change the SD card from reading-only mode to normal mode by using Registry Editor.

Step 1: Open the Run box by choosing Run after right-clicking on Start.

Step 2: Type Regedit and hit Enter key to open Registry Editor.

Step 3: View these two catalogs below to see if there is a StorageDevicePolicies item in them:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet001\Control\
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\

If one of the catalogs has this item, directly turn to step 5. If it doesn’t have a folder named StorageDevicePolicies – create it by these two steps:

  • Right-click on the current catalog
  • In the pop-up menu, select NewKey and name it StorageDevicePolicies.

Step 4: Select the new folder StorageDevicePolicies and right-click on the right column. Then choose New a to create a new DWORD value (select a new value of the parameter DWORD (32-bit) for a 32-bit OS or QWORD (64-bit) for a 64-bit one respectively), named WriteProtect.

Step 5: Right-click on the name of WriteProtect, and then choose Modify. After that, change the value data from 0 to 1. Then close Registry Editor.

Step 6: Insert the memory card after restarting the computer, and then check if it is changed to normal status.

Method 3: Fix SD Card Read only Error by Converting FAT to NTFS

Memory cards generally use the FAT32 file system. You might consider converting it to NTFS as a possible solution. This method can also help people fix read-only issues with memory cards.

Step 1: Connect the SD Card to the computer.

Step 2: Open Command Prompt

Step 3: Use the convert command: type convert # : /fs:ntfs /nosecurity /x and hit Enter.

Step 4: Type exit and hit Enter.

After you exit from the cmd prompt, you can go back to the Windows Explorer to check if you have removed read only memory card.

Method 4: Change the Read-Only Attribute using DiskPart

If the SD card is locked to read-only internally, you have to use the disk part to change it. However, the process is tricky. If you have any crucial files on the SD card it is highly suggested to create a backup of the SD card contents.

At the same time, when an SD is set to read-only, it restricts any changes on the drive. This means you cannot even delete files from the SD card or copy the files.

In such a miserable situation, the only tool that can help you restore the data from a write-protected drive is Remo Recover. Hence, make use of Remo to create a backup. Once the backup is created, you can follow the steps mentioned below to change the read-only attributes.

Note: you can find the steps to create a backup of your read-only drive in the next section.

Download and install Remo Recover on your computer. Connect your SD card to it.

  1. From the main screen select your SD drive from where you want to recover data.
  2. Click on the Scan option to initiate the scanning process.
  3. Finally, select the files which you want to restore and click on the Recover option.

Steps to Change the Read-only Attributes using Disk Part

Note: Use an administrator account to change the read-only attribute using diskpart

  • Tap Win+R to open run utility, type “diskpart” and hit enter

using disk part to fix read only error

  • Enter next command “list disk” press enter

list disk command

  • Now enter “select disk #” in place # enter the concern disk number (in my case its “select disk 0”)

select disk 0

  • You can recognize the write-protected disk with the help of storage size, with is mentioned right beside it.
  • Finally, enter the command “attributes clear disk read-only” to change the read-only attributes on the SD card

clear attribute read only

To be honest, this process can be used to disable write protection on any storage drive. At the same time, you have to remember that this is a complex process. If you use any wrong commands, you may wipe out the entire data on the drive.

This is why you have to take a backup before you use the diskpart command. Since you cannot access files from the read-only sd card, creating a backup is only a probability. This is why you need a tool to restore photos from SD cards such as Remo. In the following section, you will find the steps to create a backup in the following section.

How to Create a Backup of a Read-Only SD card?

Remo Recover is renowned recovery software that can restore data from any kind of storage drive. Since you cannot copy files directly from a write-protected SD card, you need Remo to extract data from it. Remo has a unique feature that will allow you to create an exact image of your read-only set drive.  Here is how you do it

Download Remo Recover to recover photos and other files for free Download Remo Recover to recover deleted files for free

Download and install Remo Recover on your computer. Connect your SD card to it.

1. From the main screen a list of all devices and folders from where you can recover data will appear on your screen. If you didn't find your drive, click on Can't find the drive? option.

find your sd card

2. Select your SD card from where you want to recover data. Click on the Scan option to initiate the scanning process.

Select the SD card

2. While the scan is in progress, make use of the Dynamic Recovery View option to view and recover the files without having to wait till the completion of the entire scan.

click on the dynamic recovery view option

3. Once the tool completes the scanning process. A list of all recovered files will get displayed on your screen. Make use of the Advanced Filter option to sort the files.

click on advanced filter option to sort the files

4. Double-click on any file(s) to preview it.

double click on any file to preview it

5. Finally, select the files which you want to restore and also decide on a location to save them.

select the files to recover and also select where you want to save the recovered files

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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